Is Your Body Beach Ready?

May 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Beauty, Blog, Featured

With summer right around the corner, you may be wondering HOW you are going to get your body ready to go public!

Hopefully, this article will help you find some simple ways in which you can tone and shape your body for the summer.

Your Diet Matters

Whether or not you have been on a diet this winter, here are some tips and suggestions to help you to not only eat better, but give you a healthier look. Experts recommend that instead of skipping meals you should instead eat up to 5 meals a day in smaller portions. During the summer, eating lighter is the key. Also, adding more protein to your diet will assist you in losing weight as you exercise. In this way, you will burn fat, not muscle.

A diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, and salads containing leafy green vegetables, and at least 8 glasses of water a day, will set you on the path to slimming down and feeling great. Try not to eat any snacks or other types of foods after 8 p.m. and cut back on foods and drinks which contain sugar and carbohydrates.

Add protein such as meat, poultry, and other rich in protein foods. Add fiber to your diet as well. More importantly, always begin the day with a healthy breakfast. Have a bowl of cereal with blueberries, for example. Blueberries are high in antioxidants, besides having a myriad of other health benefits.

Ideally, you want to lose a pound a week. Any more than that will defeat the purpose. Studies have shown that in order to lose a pound a week, you have to decrease your total caloric intake by 3500 calories a week. This can certainly be accomplished by having plenty of fruits and vegetables on hand as snacks, avoid fried foods, and mix up the menu on a daily basis so that your meals are inviting and not boring.

It is important to keep hydrated at all times. You may think you’re fine, but if you are in the heat of the sun you may not realize just how dehydrated you are until nausea or a faint feeling comes over you.

Drinking water with every meal will ensure you are getting plenty of water and it will also help in losing weight as well. Drinking water is VITAL to your health, beauty, anti-aging, and body.

Exercise is the Key

NOTE: It is IMPORTANT that you check with your doctor BEFORE beginning any exercise program!

Weight training is ideal for toning and shaping your body. Different exercises 3 times a week can help you to achieve the sculpted look you desire.

Many fitness experts attest that weight training 3 times a week and targeting all of the muscle groups can achieve the best results. Starting with 1 set of exercises and then building up to two or three is suggested. They also recommend 8 to 12 repetitions as the standard form of weight training exercise.

Also, in order to burn more calories, you should exercise more than one muscle group in a session.

Other exercise routines can include aerobic exercises 3 to 5 days a week for 30 to 35 minutes. The cardiovascular workout will increase your metabolism and allow for weight reduction as well.

If you are too busy to devote 30 to 45 minutes, you can certainly engage in high-intensity 10-minute workouts 3 times a day. Include walking at a brisk pace, climbing stairs and even jumping rope.

Exercise to help shape and tone your front and back thigh muscles:

Stand with your feet a few inches apart. Put a weight in each hand, and rest your hands on each shoulder, that is, your right hand on your left shoulder, and your left hand on your right shoulder. With your back straight and head up and looking ahead, lower your body to a comfortable position. Feel the stretch in your front thigh muscles. Flex your front and back thigh muscles as hard as you can throughout the movement. Return to the start position and give your front and back thighs an extra flex on the finish. Repeat 15 times.

Exercise for lifting and toning the front and back thighs, firm up the hips, and butt:

Stand with your left foot forward and right foot back. Ensure there is at least a 2-foot space between each foot. Keep your right arm up and your left arm down at your side. Bring your right knee up until your thigh is parallel to the floor and your right heel is just about touching your inner knee area, all the time reversing the position of your arms as you move. Repeat the movement 15 times. Now put your right foot forward and your left foot back and repeat the process. Repeat this movement 15 times.

Exercise for the Tummy:

Another exercise, which most of can relate to, involves the stomach. Having a stomach that is a bit saggy can be problematic. While you don’t have a lot of time to redefine and shape the stomach before summer remember every little bit helps. Here is an exercise which you can begin now.

Lie face down on the floor. If you have a mat by all means use it. Place your hands near your shoulders, and take a deep breath. Then push your body up until the hands and feet support your body. Hold this position for 20 seconds, taking care to keep your abdominal muscles pulled in. Lower yourself down to the floor, rest for a few seconds, and then repeat. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions daily. This is a form of yoga that is wonderful for toning the abdominal muscles.

Here is another group of exercises for the hips and thighs. Unfortunately, we all know this is where most of the fat resides. However, if you engage in this exercise 3 to 4 times a week, in combination with your other exercises, you will be able to see changes to your body in 6 to 10 weeks.

Squats:

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms by the sides. Keep a strong posture, and slowly lower buttocks as though you are about to sit down in a chair. Lower several inches and then slowly rise up. Repeat this 15 times.

Lunges:

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands on the hips. Stand erect and take a large step forward with one foot. Stay in that position. Turn your back foot up until you can balance on your toes and then slowly lower your body until your front knee forms a right angle. Slowly raise your body back up. Repeat on each side 15 times. Exercise, along with a healthy diet, should be part of our lifestyle all year long. However, with summer on the way, there is an urgency to achieve what would normally take months, and crunch them into several weeks.

Beautify Your Body

Waxing:

Although you can certainly take a trip to a salon that specializes in waxing, the truth is this is a mighty painful procedure. Not only is it painful, but sometimes embarrassing as well. They do a very good job of removing hair both in front and back of your lower body, but some people still prefer to wax at home.

If you prefer to wax your bikini line in the privacy of your own home, there are a number of wax kits available which are safe and effective. Cold waxing is often used for home waxing, although not as effective as hot waxing, but it does ensure there will be less likelihood of burning during the process.

If you do opt for hot waxing:

The wax is applied with a tongue depressor or spatula over the unwanted hairs. A strip is then placed on top of the melted wax and quickly pulled off. Ouch!

For effective waxing, the hairs must be at least a half inch above the skin. Redness and soreness will accompany this procedure for at least 2 hours. The frequency of waxing is every 6 to 8 weeks.

Pedicures:

Probably one of the most soothing and relaxing procedures is a pedicure. Not only do these professionals cut, trim, file, wash, scrub, and massage your feet, it is just a wonderful way to spend time being pampered. Moreover, your feet feel light as air afterward.

If you have the time, treat yourself to a pedicure for the summer. It’s not that expensive, and it will make you feel incredibly relaxed.

But if you are like some of us who manicure and pedicure at home, ensure you have all of the right equipment such as pedicure utensils, foot bath, lotions, brushes, and of course, a fantastic color to apply afterward.

Although one has to admit that a self-pedicure is not the same as having it professionally done, there is one exception. If you have a partner or spouse who is willing to massage your feet and legs for you – then no problem.

Tanning:

One of the more serious concerns about summer is sunbathing. With the sun’s rays becoming more threatening each year, all of us have to be careful since we know the UVA and UVB rays can cause skin cancer.

The use of tanning beds has become more dangerous than sunbathing. In fact, the UV rays in tanning beds have a higher yield of radiation than the sun. That is why a tanning lotion may be the better…healthier choice in the long run!

With all of the sunless tanning products on the market today, there are specific products which have been shown to be more safe and effective than others. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, sunless tanning lotions that contain DHA as the active ingredient are the most effective. Whether in gel, lotion, or spray form, any product that contains DHA is said to be the most reliable.

However, they do advise that because DHA interacts with the dead cells, the color lasts about 5 to 7 days after the initial application. They also advise that since we lose dead skin cells every day, the tan fades daily. Therefore, reapplication every 3 days is suggested to keep your gorgeous tan.

In closing, don’t forget to apply sunscreen before going out in the sun. Have plenty of water, and remember that God created you and you are beautiful. You may not look like the cover of a magazine…but guess what? Neither do the women ON the magazines!


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